The meetings I look forward to most are the learning lunches I schedule every month with people who can teach me. When we meet, I come armed with questions. Many are specific to the individuals I’m meeting with. But there are some questions I try to ask everyone. You may want to use them too:

  1.  What is the greatest lesson you have learned? By asking this question I seek their wisdom.
  2.  What are you learning now? This question allows me to benefit from their passion.
  3.  How has failure shaped your life? This question gives insight into their attitude.
  4.  Who do you know whom I should know? This allows me to engage with their network.
  5.  What have you read that I should read? This question directs my personal growth.
  6.  What have you done that I should do? This helps me seek new experiences.
  7.  How can I add value to you? This shows my gratitude and desire to add value to them.

What is the key to shared thinking? Asking the right people the right questions. There’s great power in doing that. As speaker Brian Tracy says, “A major stimulant to creative thinking is focused questions. There is something about a well-worded question that often penetrates to the heart of the matter and triggers new ideas and insights.”

John C. Maxwell, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership (New York City, NY: Center Street, 2014).

I believe asking questions is one of the best ways to teach. Toward this end, I have devoted a good part of my life to writing discussion-based Bible study lessons that have groups talking. Check them out at